Shoulder Pain. How We Can Help You!
- Do you suffer from Shoulder Pain?
- Are you having difficulty sleeping at night?
- Do you struggle to lift your arm above your head?
- Have you been told you need a Cortisone Injection?
Maybe you are one of the many countless people who suffer from shoulder impingement bursitis and/or rotator cuff injury!
Our Shoulders are one of the most dynamic joints in the body. They have one of the largest movement ranges of all joints in the human skeleton and are one of the most complicated integrated-joint complexes in the body, so it’s no wonder they can be so susceptible to injury.
Your shoulder movement does not stem from one joint alone. The true shoulder joint, the glenohumeral joint, or ball and socket, is only isolated in the first stages of movement. After 50-60 degrees of movement, the other 3 joints of the shoulder girdle become involved: the acromial-clavicular, the sterno-clavicular, and scapular-thoracic joints. These are an ‘accessory’ to shoulder movement, although a dysfunction in one of them can knock the whole rhythm of shoulder movement out of sync. And potentially cause pain and injury.
Let First BUST Some Quick Myths On Shoulder Pain:
1. MRI is the only way to diagnose a shoulder injury.
FACT: An MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging) technique does not always show what we suspect already and sometimes it can be misleading. That is showing issues that many, asymptomatic (pain-free) individuals also have!
2. Cortisone and surgery are the only treatment options to fix a tear in the rotator cuff.
FACT: This is not true. A vast number of conservative therapies can improve function and reduce pain. These may include rest, Ice and Anti-inflammatory drugs, and hands-on techniques. If conservative hands-on treatment, rehabilitation and strength exercise, and medication can be effective then there is no need for cortisone or surgery. In fact, in some cases, Cortisone can further damage our bodies!
3. Shoulder injuries are forever.
FACT: This is a very common and unfortunate myth among people which can affect the confidence of patients. Shoulder injuries are not permanent and can be easily managed and controlled by conservative therapy and exercise rehabilitation.
4. Exercise can make shoulder pain worse.
FACT: Although a patient should not do exercises on his/her own without consulting a professional, a skilled Osteopathic practitioner can prescribe specific and individualized exercise to accommodate you and your injury.
What are the Symptoms of Shoulder Pain:
- Deep aching pain at the front, side, or back of the shoulder. Often worse when lying on the shoulder at night time.
- Occasional sharp shoulder pain when lifting or raising the arm.
- Weakness of the shoulder, which is usually associated with shoulder pain.
- Inability to raise your arm above your head in severe cases due to pain and weakness.
Shoulder Pain Treatment. What Do We Do?
This first step in treatment is getting a specific diagnosis for you! The Osteopaths at Equilibrium are highly skilled to help identify the CAUSE of your shoulder pain. An Osteopathic treatment session will usually involve:
- Soft Tissue Massage: This is designed to relieve the muscle spasm and tightness of the neck and shoulder muscles.
- Joint Articulation and Mobilisation: Gently improving the movement of the small joints of the neck and upper back.
- Sports Taping. In the early stages of an injury, this helps aid in improving your postural awareness of the neck/shoulder and upper back position.
- Strength training: The KEY to long-term health and wellbeing!
- Shockwave Therapy. A non-invasive quick and effective treatment for chronic tendon injuries.
Bulletproof Your Shoulder Pain With These Exercises:
Serratus Push Up’s
Arm Bar – Modified Turkish Get Up
Let Learn More about WHERE your shoulder pain can be coming from?
The Rotator Cuff
Strengthen These Muscles For a Pain-Free Shoulder:
The ‘rotator cuff’ is a collective term for a group of 4 muscles. These muscles contribute to the stability of the shoulder joint. They all come from different parts of the shoulder blade, attaching to the top of the arm. The cuff also has other roles to play in the shoulder such as internal and external rotation. It is usually these shoulder stability muscles, which are affected by impingement injuries.
During upper limb movement, if the rotator cuff is weak or damaged, your shoulder is less likely to stay securely and correctly positioned in the joint. This puts stress on the ligaments and cartilage of the joint. And can lead to a variety of tears and subsequently poor movement patterns.
Adequate rest and rehabilitation are critical for a full recovery if any of these muscles are damaged
As Osteopath’s we can help to determine if these muscles are weak. And help develop a strengthening program. Correct movement patterns and reasonable strength are also essential in a pain-free functioning shoulder. Small weights, if any, and controlled isolated movements throughout the range of movement is a great start for a healthy and functional shoulder.
Stabilise Your Shoulder for Pain-Free Movement:
One of the most common attributes you see in individuals with shoulder pain is poor scapula (shoulder blade) control. Whilst lifting a weight with your arms extended, as in a push-up or ‘plank’, poor control of the muscles in your back can make your shoulder blades ‘wing’ out.
Muscles joined to the shoulder blade need to be balanced to have correct movement patterns. If imbalanced, the weaker muscles become stretched, tight, and weakened further as they ‘hang-on’ to the scapular being pulled around the rib cage incorrectly.
Something simple such as seated rows, push-ups or ‘superman’ exercises can strengthen the usual suspects in poor scapular control. Your Osteopath can assess this control whilst you perform a variety of specific arm movements and can provide you with an exercise program tailored to your area of weakness.
Corrective Exercise Rehabilitation
Correct rehab is one of the most pivotal stages of injury recovery and it can either set you back to square one by re-injuring the tissues, or even further back by injuring them to a greater extent.
Rehab is defined as the re-introduction of normal movement patterns and physical stresses through the body in order to restore normal function to an individual. The gradual introduction of movements specific to your sport is important in order to achieve these particular physical stresses.
Staggering rehabilitation is the key. If you head back to the training ground ‘all-guns blazing’, it will end in further delay to getting back to normal. Activity in a controlled environment like a gym is best for this steady introduction. Working individual muscle groups and specific actions with slowly increasing weights is the best way to steadily return to normal function.
The Importance of Osteopathic Treatment in Shoulder Pain:
Increasing the stability of the shoulder joint, the surrounding joints and strengthening the muscles, which influence the shoulder, is the best way to avoid injury. If you do damage your shoulder, you are more likely to re-damage it as the area becomes a ‘soft-spot’. However, this shouldn’t mean the end of your sporting career. Working with an osteopath has been proven to reduce the extent of damage, reduce the likelihood of repeat injuries and the amount of potential repeat injury damage.
If you would like a more in-depth and specific assessment of you and your shoulder pain. Do not hesitate to book in today with one of our Osteopath. We love treating shoulders and pride ourselves on always putting you first.